The town has hired a transportation consultant, and there will be a drop-in public workshop at Harvey Wheeler on Tuesday, October 17, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
A survey is being prepared, which will be open to non-residents as well.
In 2022, Concord Town Meeting, with a huge majority, voted to turn down a study proposal to potentially hard-surface the Reformatory Branch Trail (RBT) and strongly voted up an Article to protect the trail in its natural and unwidened form.
Some state planning agencies have been pushing and advocating to pave the RBT as one of their priority projects.
It is likely that some out-of-town, even out-of-state, lobbies in favor of paving will urge their members to weigh into the open survey, significantly biasing results. This has happened before in other communities.
Note that not all cyclists prefer to have the RBT paved, including commuters, and many of them have spoken against hard surfacing the RBT.
We should explore ways to make existing roads safer for cyclists — such as Rt. 62 (which the town owns and maintains,) or Lexington Road, or Old Bedford Road. We can even consider creating one-way car traffic with two-way bike lanes.
Concord’s own preferences about how to provide safe bicycling routes should not be co-opted by the State’s targeting particular (and inappropriate) paths and publicizing them to cyclists who may be open to other solutions.
Please attend the workshop and make your views known.
Tanya B. Gailus